From my Xena fanfic You Are There. Second Part added
For the last month I have been re-reading/re-watching Xena. After years of having forgotten them. And for that, I’d been drown to write again and in this case add a chapter to one of my stories. Please forgive any grammar/spelling malfunctions and if you spot something terrible, please let me know.
About the story: Some kind of sequel to my “You are Here” fanfic. Set after episode “You Are There” from season 6. It is supposed to alter the rest of season 6 and maybe avoid some beheadings…
Dawn came faster than we would have like it. The oranges and blues mixing, bringing the new day too soon.
The monk was already up and ready to go when I opened my eyes. Breaking camp was a quick shore by now. Morning found us with Xena saddling Argo and Ares nowhere to be seen. Under my inquisitive glace looking around, Xena replied my unspoken question, “He’s gone down the stream”. The warrior turned around sighing under her breath, finishing placing in the saddlebag her bedroll and moving to place Ares’s on his horse.
When Ares came back, we were ready to go. He gave Xena our waterskin, she replied an absent thanks, turning to toss mine. I hadn’t noticed it gone. Those were the kind of little things that made me reflect on when he became part of our campsite, of our lives.
Raising my head, I saw Xena returning a smile to something Ares said over a whisper. I had to smile, I know, he became part of our world the moment he choose to live like a mortal man. The second time he gave up everything for that one in a billion chance. My younger self would have loved the romanticism of all it.
Mounting the horses, we had the foreign monk leading our party. I, then, remembered that first night after restoring Aphrodite of her godhood. Ares had come down from Valhalla with us in his full God of War gear. He had taken his stallion from the barn the horse was in. Of course, it had be an all-black magnificent male. And, they said that Aphrodite was the only fashionable one!
Eight months ago, he silently had come to stand next to Xena, she had been making time with her well-saddled horse – but of course not waiting for him - Just the saddlebags needed arranging in that precise instant.
I had chuckled at that one! Xena fussing over like a teenage girl waiting uncertainly for her boyfriend. The god – man that had given up for a second time everything for her. If she hadn’t gotten the hint that first time, she certainly got the memo this time around. Ares loved her.
He had stood next to her – I’d looked on - and he then too had fussed with his saddlebags while patting the neck of the animal.
If I had been mounted on my horse, I would had fallen down in a fit of laughter.
Who could have thought that both of them actually moved in the same way, use the same mannerisms and technics for almost everything – from riding to fighting to even catching fish. This was something I would see in the weeks to come. Would see how much alike they truly were. How connected they were. My younger self would have loved every minute of it.
A long time ago, I have asked my friend about Ares and her relationship with him. Her reaction then had been so defensive that I had really just back off. Never in my life had I seen Xena so dead-set in not sharing her life with me.
These last few months have been interesting to say the least.
Seven months ago, we were next to a river. Me writing a letter to my sister; them fishing. After a long quiet while, I heard them laugh, doubling of laughter in fact. My curiosity got the best of me, to be truthful with myself, it wasn’t that often that you could hear Xena laughing like that, so carefree, so open.
I got near to ask what was so funny and Ares between breathing and laughing told me about one time when Xena had tried to fish in a river near the Macedonian mountains; uphill, only to be slap by a big salmon that came out of water that very moment; pushing her all the way down into the river. Ares continued laughing, but Xena – I saw her stiffed her posture. I, of course, pressed on not wanting to miss the opportunity.
“When was that?” I heard myself asking. Ares apparently oblivious to Xena changed of mood, reply putting one hand over her shoulder. “Umm, What, Xena? 40 years ago? I remember you went your way, outside my fortress for a fishing trip… I found you on your butt, all soaked... What I sight to be seen... Almighty Warrior Princess defeated by a fish”. He’d kept laughing then.
Xena had looked uncomfortable, I could tell she had not like the direction that story had taken. She’d relaxed again though, when he kept laughing and squeezed her shoulder. His laugher was contagious after all, I chuckled and I could swear that squeeze had been a sign that he had also seen her go stiff at my question. Maybe he was not that oblivious to her reactions.
I remember I had kept my inquisitive tirade, “Your fortress? Just for how long you have known each other? Didn’t you tell me that first year that you had wonder how he looked like…?” I had innocently asked. The silence that followed could have pretty much been cut with a knife. The laugher ended abruptly.
Ares looked at Xena, all the joy drained out and replaced by a remorseful gaze. For one part I had wanted to take my question back. I had brought to surface hard facts of those old days. The bard in me was just dying to know, so I’d just kept looking at her waiting for her answer.
He openly snarled at me. I had been about to protest, when Xena hold up a hand. “Ares…” I heard her say in almost a whisper. He had just gave me a nasty look again and collected the fish they had actually caught. “I’m gonna make a fire and cook these”. He grumpily walked away, his retreating form followed by blue eyes.
Xena sighed and sit herself on a rock over the river shore. I sat beside her. “I always gather that you knew each other for a long time, but always thought he had deceit you and you actually didn’t know the real him…” I began. She looked at me and then look out to the water, her eyes suddenly sad.
“After I gave up Solan, I was lost…” She began explaining how lost she had been, how gallantly Ares had presented himself like a knight in shiny leather - I had to laugh at that comment, that made her smile. She’d continued, with how she had been drown to him; because it was no longer her goal to only destroy, but to build and protect - to make sure her son - even if not with her - would not have the likes of Cortese in his life.
Ares had been a means to an end at the beginning, but he had actually gotten a liking in her. From what I gather not everything had been business, pleasure had been thrown into the mix at some point. She told me how she had spent time in that fortress - coming and going, planning battles, mastering technics between campaigns, feeling victorious and how she had almost fall in love with him. Of an Ares who knew nothing of love. That she hadn’t said aloud. I was utterly awestricken.
I understood then that when she had left War destructive ways, she had also left him. Left some sort of twisted relationship. Understood why Ares had not relented in his obsession to get her back. But in that moment, the only piece of information my brain registered was the fact that Xena - the soul of freedom, the woman I knew, the woman that never like to stay in the same place more than a handful of days, had had a life in his world for years. “Wait, you kinda lived with him?” I dared tease her with a smile.
Her eyes had almost pop-out “No!” she paused “No, not really… I was with him whenever I was not with my men” She had thrown a pebble into the river lost in thought, “Ares was war, conquer, power, bloodlust and… my home” she had finished with a low whisper and I could not believe my ears. I had no words.
My face must had been an open book, “Are we ok?” she asked me.
No, things are not ok, I feel like I no longer have space in your life. I thought to myself before sighing – the thought was stupid, of course she had space in her heart for me. Adjusting to Ares being in mine was the problem, not hers. “Yes, we are ok”, out of her concerned look, I had continued reassuring her “Yes, everything is ok, is just hard to see you with him.” Her eyes had fallen at that and I had wanted to kick myself for causing her pain, but was inner-ly happy I could still affect her.
“I am sorry” she told me in a whisper. I didn’t know why she was apologizing, but that had me stop – she needed no apology. I was being a cynic bitch. I had told her that I wanted her to be happy after so many years of hardship and denials. And there I was making her doubt, forcing her to reconsider her own happiness.
“I am the one that is sorry, Xena… I see how your face lights up whenever you are with him – you love him. I should not be… I don’t know, I am out of words, it seems”. I had laughed a little to my own antics and I saw her smile. Sobering up I had continued, “We were told by many that we were soulmates…”
“And we are” she had said quickly taking my hand.
“Yes, but he is the one you love, you are in love with him”.
“Yes”. I think that was the first time she actually acknowledge her love for him, at least in front of me. Her confirmation had frozen time between us.
I saw him before she did. He was walking cautiously toward us trying to look into her eyes to gauche if he was at fault there. He said nothing.
I would see those expressions in their faces rather frequently in the months to come.
When she had looked up, they had locked eyes and after a few seconds, he had cleared his throat breaking the moment. “Dinner is ready”.
Then I saw her face looking at him again, and I made myself scam. “I’m starving…” No need to continue talking. I left them alone.
“Xena..” He began.
“It was a long time ago” she cut him gently.
He nodded, coming to stand behind her, wrapping his arms around her. “I know, but still I didn’t know better back then”.
“I know” She squeezed the hand that was still on her shoulder and moved to go to camp.
That had been one of the first uncomfortable conversations that we would get stuck into in the days to come. For me, I had felt affronted, we have shared so much and still I didn’t know all of her. I understood at some level, but still had felt the sting of some sort of betrayal.
Riding to the port, took us less than a day, we arrived almost at sundown, which meant having miss the boat of the day out of the Aegean coast. We found an inn to spend the night and not for the first time I slept alone. Xena and Ares had started having their own room six months ago. The first time was a stormy day. We had gotten just in time before the first drops started falling. Her apoplectic look when Ares had announced that he had gotten the two rooms and had handed me the key of my own – it had hurt. But I did understand.
This time was no different, though this time there was no apology in her face when she gave me mine. We had a quick dinner together. The monk just ate, not saying anything, just finished with his meal and turned in. We stayed over the table a while longer drinking the hot cider in front of us. Talking about the upcoming trip by sea. I saw Ares giving a look to Xena while standing up. “I’ll go check on the horses before going up”, I saw him taking her hand in his for a second before releasing it gently.
We agreed with Xena, that I would write to Eve, to let her know that we would be leaving Greece for a few months.
That night I thought about the last time we have seen Eve three months ago – her face of incomprehension at the fact that not only Ares was hanging out with us, but that actually her ex- something. - I had promised myself not ever going there - was relinking some kind of relationship with her mother.
We had travelled into amazon lands to see how they were, and have found Xena’s daughter with a rope on her neck, ready to meet her dead. It had not happened, of course.
Xena and I did everything we could to make Varia and the rest of the amazons see the change of heart she had had, how she had changed her ways. Become Eve.
While Xena was respected among the amazons, she had never wanted to be part of them, their rites and customs bother her. I could see it. More than that once she had told me that it didn’t feel right to be welcome as one of them after having killed all their leaders in a personal quest for power. I had wanted to tell her that it was not true, that she was welcomed. But true to be told, I – she was no amazon.
But Eve was. I had giving her my right of caste. At the end that had been what saved her. She was an Amazon Princess. I felt bad for her – Eve, her face when Xena told her… the devastation, the shame...
The first night we arrived Eve slept in jail, awaiting trial for her crimes as Livia - it had been a shocked. Xena was seething, she wanted to break her free. Damn the consequences.
I had tried convincing her to stop, to let me find other way. But as always when her children were involved, she was not prone to listen to reason.
It took Ares of all people - walking to stand next to her sword at the ready saying that between the two of them they could take on the amazons - for her to come back to her senses. She gave him the most cryptic gaze. His plan was simple they only needed a distraction – a fire. “Burn their huts to the ground” he had said.
“If little Eve and her new path gets in the way, just knock her senseless and we can take her away”. I am sure I wasn’t included in that “we”. She had continued to regard him considering his plan, but shook her head no, and with a sad gaze looked at me sighing.
“We try it your way Gabrielle, but if it doesn’t work…” She hadn’t need to finish. I knew. If it hadn’t worked, she would have taken on Ares offer and freed her daughter herself. Damn the consequences.
Ares proved to be of help those days. Not in my wildest dreams I would had thought that he had so much insight on what the amazon nation was, of our customs and laws of life and death. Sometimes I forgot that he had been a god, a God to the Amazons at some point or other.
One of the laws he had point out was an old fairy tale about how amazons could be reborn into their new selves when looking for atonement. How they could fight for their life or choose a champion in their names. But there had been a catch. Xena nor I could not be her defenders; I was part of the council trailing her and Xena was not an amazon – but a father could.
Ares had used old laws of ancient times forgotten by all but not by the gods and to mine and Xena’s disbelieve they had actually existed. According to the law a father could fight for the life of her daughter. Xena had been bewildered – but had not protested.
The tricky part had been convincing the amazons that Eve was indeed Ares’.
Due to all the ruckus of the twilight everyone knew who Eve was. This was where I put my foot in. I had stood in front of the council using my bard skills to present Ares as a father for all amazons – hence a worthy candidate to be her champion. How he had fathered them by the hundreds – Xena had not liked that part. Her sour gaze and lips clamped in a fine line had me almost laughing and his face had been so smug - I almost busted out laughing in the middle of my speech.
In any case, I had continued saying that all of them knew how obsessed the God of War had been with the Warrior Princess. My old scrolls were an attestation of it.
Varia and Ares fought fiercely - he won of course. It seems that before all hell broke loose, he had been observing Varia. Other thing that Xena clearly had not liked judging by the stoic emotionless face she sported during his confession. But she had said nothing. He had some insight on her technic. I felt sorry for Varia, going up against the God of War, even if he didn’t have his godly powers… it hadn’t be exactly a fair fight, though I would never admit that to him.
I had seen him spare with Xena multiple times as a god and more recently as a man to know that he was not easy to beat.
After Eve had been released and hugged by a happy Xena, she had thanked Ares. He, for his part had not made any daddy jokes. Small mercies. I had thought to myself.
We had a gathering at the village in order to Baptist Eve as one of our own.
Xena and Ares had not stayed.
Ares had wondered out from the amazon settlement, Xena had followed him. One of his ribs was broken and the swelling and broken skin on the right side of his face could be seen kilometers away.
“You safe my daughter again”, she had hugged him with tears in her eyes – more overwhelmed by the gesture than for the actual saving.
“She is yours” I’d heard him simply reply when I got near to give them some herbs Xena had asked for.
That night she tended his wounds and thanked him in ways neither Eve nor myself were capable or even wanted to think about.
After the ceremony, Eve was restless in the hut we share. I could tell she wanted to say something.
“Mother will stay outside tonight?” she had asked me.
I’d been pretty sure, I didn’t need to explain the birds and the bees to her… I looked at her quizzically, my face neutral and chewing my lower lip. “Xena will stay out at the camp”, With Ares, I hadn’t need to say that part.
She had looked into my eyes for a second to turn around fisting her hands in an angry manner. “He used to talk about her – Whenever I did something foolish or rush, he would tell me: - The warrior princess would had never be let it slip Livia. Xena would had been faster Livia - you are no match.”
She had continued with a faraway gaze. “While campaigning through Greece, I once got into one of his temples” She turned around looking away, “The Roman ones were dark, screamed death and bloodshed, I was used to room in them. In Greece I got into one, in a little town near the Thracian coast – this one was…” her eyes casted down. I couldn’t even blink out of trepidation. “…at the door of the inner chambers was his sword interwoven with her charkam- I didn’t think anything about it, but when I got inside…” she looked up to me, “everything was well lit, in the middle was an altar and on top rested a replica of her armor.” She had paused then.
“He had been obsessed with her for years” I had supplied, taking her hand on mine.
“He appeared then, I had never seen so much hatred in his eyes. He almost killed me for trespassing…” She sighed dropping unceremoniously on the cot, “I was kicked out of the place. I was furious. I cursed her name and his… It was envy Gabrielle.”
She had left me speechless. Standing inside the hut. And when she went outside I followed her.
She crossed the amazon camp in seconds, she had crossed the riverbank with the agility of her training and grace of her mother. I followed a step behind. We got to the clearing where a fire was burning. And then was when I heard it, groans and moans and flesh.
Eve stood there watching the shadows play over the fire. Her eyes had turned to fury and jealousy - disgusted more with herself than with the scenery. I grabbed her arm forcefully and made her turned around.
She shuddered me off and stalked back to the amazons.
Back in the hut she faced me all fury gone from her blue eyes, but I saw the jealousy and anger still present.
“What did you think they were doing?” I heard myself asking challenging. It wasn’t the first time I had suspected that they were together in that way, but it was actually the first time I had caught them lost in themselves.
She didn’t reply.
“They been expending time together these last few months” I had tried to explain.
Eve didn’t even acknowledged my words, just went to bed. But I had to keep pushing. I had it in my chest, I was losing my best friend to what I had thought for years to be my enemy.
“She lets him get near”, he obligates faster than if being near her would save his very neck – I did not said that part aloud.
“For him is just lust” Eve said in a low voice between angry tears. Then I understood.
“At one point I would have believe that… but Eve truth is, Ares have loved your mother even when he didn’t know what love was”. I had tried to give her a reason for what… I don’t know.
“I know” was her only reply, before turning around and burring herself deep in the furs.
The next morning, we left amazon lands, but before making camp that afternoon, Eve took her horse and said her goodbyes. I understood. Ares I think also did, he had made himself scam for most of the day anyway – riding ahead, leaving us alone to talk. Xena, I think she didn’t dare to think about the reasons why her daughter was leaving us again.
I told Xena Eve had seen them the night before.
Camp that night was dead silent. Next thing I heard was murmurs at dawn, hard words and an apology “I didn’t know she was Eve – you have to believe me”, the desperation I heard in his voice, made me feel sorry for him for a brief second. She chopped out hard words again but I couldn’t make out what she told him. “Dammit Xena…” I heard him louder than before and then a soft whisper lased with an accusing tone “If you had let me in in your little plan, none of that would had happened”. Ares did not touch Xena for a month after that.
The reconciliation came a week later while facing a group of thugs. Ares had been fighting two men. He thrusted with his sword left to block a parry and turned around to face the other, but his ankle got stock in a vine and he felt down to the dirt. A club rushing down his head. In that split second Xena had finished parring his adversary and saw in slow motion how the club came down - she lunched herself to help, but Ares was faster and had swept his feet under his attacker. The blow had not hit him full force - breaking his skull, but enough to leave him unconscious for some minutes.
Xena had dispatched the attacker with a force and a fury I’ve rarely seen in her. Like if she had been affronted, unable to comprehend how some thug dare to attack him. When the remaining thugs run way. I saw her cradling his head in her lap, checking the injury.
“Come on Ares, wake up” she asked me for her stash of ointments and herbs. I run to get them from Argo, the mare ha been standing meters away from where we have fought.
When I returned, his eyes were slightly opening, the sigh of relieve I heard out of her spoke louder than anything. “Ares” I heard her whispered against his ear – like a prayer. They always said their names to one another with reverence, something I never dare comprehend, anyone could feel jealous of the intensity with they talk to one another. I gave her the pouch and moved to tide up the assaulters to a tree.
From the few paces I was away from them. I heard him groaned trying to sit up. “…Head spinning”, he said while Xena smile helping him to a better position against a larger rock on the path – all previous anger forgotten.
“That was a close call”, she breathed sounding a little meek, scared almost.
“Careful princess, you sound like you care”, Ares said lifting a hand to cup her face.
“Of course I care” She said moving her face to kiss his hand. “Ares, I… care for you”, if the words hitched in her throat were anything to go by, I would had bet that she wanted to use others – then again ears were far too many for that other statement, I guess.
Xena and Ares woke up at sunrise for the looks of it. When I came downstairs, and into the tavern, they were already sharing breakfast, talking in low voices, saying almost nothing. Their intimate looks to each other often spoke louder than words.
I order something to eat before approaching the far table they were sitting at. Xena welcome me with a smile. “Slept well?” her question. “Yeah, even after all these years, sleeping on a bed always leave me relax” I reply while sitting in the vacant chair in front of Ares. He nodded at me saying morning greetings to return to his meal a second after.
His hand was playing with the strap of her gauntlet while he continued to eat with the other one.
Such a pair they were. It was incredible, for the stoic warrior she had always been, it was astonishing the way she always let him get away with these little touches and caresses, it was certainly amazing how open she was becoming. Like I said my younger self would have love it.
I might had been staring, because one minute after Xena removed her arm from the tablet as if Ares caresses burned her.
He looked up to see what had been the cause of disturbance in his princess, finding only that she had looked away and her hand had fallen down on her lap. What I witnessed next was unprecedented and dare say shocking.
Ares took her hand from her lap, intertwining their fingers together to place them gently over the table. One look into his dark eyes, made her stopped the complaint that was about to leave her lips. She closed her mouth when he opened his, “I will not let you go back to deny us”, he said with finality. The feelings behind his sentence left me feeling as an intruder. Xena, for her part imperceptibly noddle giving his hand a light squeeze, letting him know that no, she will not deny them anymore.
- Current Mood: energetic
- Current Music:tu recuerdo
I'm a romantic, and well after watching Grey's anatomy ep where KArev and Izzy gets married... I thought about all the lovely hyper cute vows in series and movies...
I thought of making a compilation of them, so let's start with Greay's anatomy
- Karev and Izzy (Grey's Anatomy)
- Christina & Owen (Grey's Anatomy)
"Christina, I could promise to hold you, and to cherish you. I could promise to be there in sickness and in health. I could say to death do us part. But I won’t… Those vows are for optimistic couples. The ones full of hope. And I do not stand here on my wedding day optimistic or full of hope. I am not optimistic, I am not hopeful - I am sure, I am steady. And I know that I’m a heart man, I take them apart, put them back together. I hold them in my hands. I am a heart man. So this I am sure - you are my partner, my lover, my very best friend. My heart beats for you. On this day, the day of our wedding I promise you this: I promise to lay my heart in the palm of your hands - I promise you me."
- The Notebook
"The best love is the kind that weakens the soul, that makes us reach for more, that plants fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That's what you've given me. That's what I hope to give to you forever."
- When Harry met Sally
"I love that you get cold when it's seventy-one degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle in your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night."
- Runaway Bride
"I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some time, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me."
-Captian Corelli Mandolin
"When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part."
No I have 2 problems before starting... what language should I write it? English or Spanish? I think that Spanish would be good idea, mostly because it's my mother tongue, but also I want to try it in English... so I really dont know what I'm gonna do...
The second problem, is that I dont have a clue as to what to write!! Dont have a topic to start... or any idea.... I thought of starting with ranting, and then choose a setting, but what kind of setting... what kind of story... first thought of my friends and childhood, but know I'm also thinking in an epic story focus in a fantastic woman... but again.. what to do, what to write, how to start, what lenguage use....
- Current Location:living room
- Current Music:Apollo 13
Just because you’re fat doesn’t mean you don’t exercise and eat junk food 24/7. Being skinny isn’t being anorexic. Asian eyes aren’t all slanty, and being black doesn’t mean you’re in a gang. Cutting yourself doesn’t make you emo, getting A’s doesn’t mean you’re a nerd. Wearing black doesn’t make you goth, and being gay doesn’t mean you’ll give someone aids. Reblog this if you want to end the negativity that comes with stereotypes.
De todas maneras solo tengo esta semana para tener todo cogido, ya que la proxima es cierre... si, otra historia... lo bueno es que estar ocupada me impide pensar en otras cosas que actualmente me preocupan, pero me han dicho que no les de importancia o que las ignore.... la verdad?? Cualquiera que me conosca sabra que soy un bicho curioso y que necesito informacion para estar y sentirme bien y protegida, quien dijo que knowlegde is power, es literalmente mi dios.
Bueno, ya llego tarde... anoche casi bato mi record de 19hrs straight (no en ese sentido... seria demasiado raro, pero en el sentido de trabajar sin parar), pero sin suerte me faltaron 2. Sip, situaciones epicas como siempre XD
Anyway... good night and good luck (si espero que alguien me lo diga, por que HOY la voy a necesitar)
- Current Location:my room
- Current Music:roller coaster do do do do do.. la la la la, la la
Hooray! I've got to the point of no return from boredom :D
- Current Location:My living room... really, where else?
- Current Music:the air conditionate and the washing machine
So, if someone wants to take a look just follow the posts XD (yeah well, anyway... melskim.xena.yuku.com )
Ohh and I'm just in love of Dectv. Rizz, she is so gorgeous <3 and Izzle too, so cute together
Ok, so first my new banner (which I find rather cool) and then the Rizz&Izz love <3
- Current Location:My living room
- Current Music:The beeps of skype
:) I haven't been so excited in weeks! Now I have something to do with all the time I'll be home this week WOOT!
Ohh yeah I'm talking about the new discovery (well more of a point out by xenites thing) Rizzoli and Isles <3
A pic XD
I'll come back with comments once I've finished watching all first season XD
- Current Location:living room
- Current Mood: bouncy
- Current Music:the simpsons theme